Following the Dept. of Social Welfare and Development’s policy directions, the Parañaque City Government under the leadership of Mayor Florencio Bernabe, Jr., like other local government units intensified its anti-mendicancy advocacy campaign starting on Thursday, July 26, 2012.
The drive is in line with the provisions of Presidential Decree 1563 which is also known as the Mendicancy Law of 1978.
Supporting said advocacy campaign is National Council for the Welfare of Children. In Metropolitan Manila, the campaign is getting added inputs from MMDA.
Espousing the themes, “Bata sa Tahanan, Hindi sa Lansangan!” and “Don’t Give, Don’t Buy!”, this LGU’s social workers headed by P’que DSWD Chief Dean Calleja made the information dissemination drive in schools, communities and commercial establishments in the city in partnership with barangay government units, partner NGOs, DepEd and the business community .
P.D. 1563’s prime objectives include: a) Prevention of the commission of mendicancy; b) Prevention of the exploitation of infants and children through mendicancy and provide habilitative services for those already exploited or in immediate danger of exploitation; and c) Promotion of the rehabilitation of minors found begging and mendicants by providing an integrated developmental package of preventive, interceptive, remedial, and/or rehabilitative services.
Under the law, persons found begging shall be apprehended and meted with fines and penalties. In like manner, persons giving alms shall likewise be fined. Infants, children or minors found begging shall be considered as neglected children and committed to DSWD custody. Meanwhile, parents of said neglected children shall be proceeded against in accordance with P.D. No. 603.
DSWD-NCR disclosed that, as of November 2010, there are total of 5,086 street dwellers who are roaming the streets of Metro Manila with 657 families and 3,072 street children. Children often wind up on the streets due to the following reasons: 1)Lack of basic needs (food, water, medicine, clothing); 2) No permanent home; 3) Parents are unemployed; 4) No money for education; 5) Break-up of family; and 5) Abandonment.
DSWD programs for street children and families include the following: 1) Creation of activity centers in cities and municipalities; 2) Balik-Probinsya Program; 3) Day and night minding centers; 4) Camping activities for street children; 5) Livelihood programs; and 6) Educational support for children.
“We support DSWD’s efforts to stop mendicancy. We need to put a halt to it as it breeds crime; endangers the health and life of mendicants; and exposes them to abuse, indignities and degradation.”,Mayor Jun Bernabe said.
Hopefully this will include those boys washing windows along Coastal Road and Airport Road. – Ed.